WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Anti-abortion activists protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. Today the U.S. Supreme Court released several decisions, including cases pertaining to freedom of religion, workers rights and health insurance companies. The court will release more decisions later this week. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. Friday’s outcome overturning Roe v. Wade is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump. The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito.